Al-Qaeda’s slain chief Osama bin Laden had shifted to Afghanistan to supervise a plot to assassinate Pakistan’s former premier Benazir Bhutto and then military dictator Pervez Musharraf, a media report said today. Citing intelligence gathered by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the News reported that the explosives to execute this plot were provided by the courier of bin Laden. Bhutto was killed in a gun-and-bomb attack during an election campaign rally on December 27, 2007 outside the Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi. The revelation comes exactly on the 10th anniversary of Bhutto’s assassination. This information was provided to the Interior Ministry in December 2007 by the Army and the ISI in three reports and the letters obtained from the bin Laden’s residence.
In these secret intelligence reports, the ministry was warned that bin Laden had issued orders to kill then President Musharraf, Pakistan People’s Party’s chief Bhutto and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Fazlur Rehman, the paper said. The most important letter by the ISI to the Interior Ministry was written on December 19, 2007; the letter was directed to the Interior Ministry’s then-director coordination of the Crisis Management Cell Colonel Muhammad Imran Yaqub, the paper said, citing the documents. The letter, titled ‘President Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto and Fazlur Rehman’s murder plan’, signed by Lt Col (retd) Zaigham Islam Butt for DG Intelligence said bin Laden has issued the order to kill Musharraf, Bhutto and Rehman. “He (Osama bin Laden) has planned to send his courier, who is a national of Pakistan and a resident of Multan, named Musa Tariq, through Waziristan with explosives to be used in executing the murder plots. On coming Sunday — which is December 22 — this person will be in the area of Dera Ismail Khan,” the letter read.
“Osama bin Laden is personally supervising this entire plan and for this reason, he has shifted to Afghanistan,” read the last three lines of the letter. The ISI had requested the interior ministry to make urgent security arrangements, the paper said, adding that this information was so important that the copies of this letter were also dispatched to the Military Intelligence Directorate, GS Branch and General Headquarters, Rawalpindi. After receiving the letter, the General Staff Branch of the Military Operations Directorate of General Headquarters, on the next day — December 20, 2007 — sent a letter to then- interior secretary Syed Kamal Shah. Six days before Bhutto’s assassination, another letter was issued with the signature of then-chief of the general staff Lt-Gen Salahuddin Satti’s Lt-Col Staff Khurram Shahzad, warning about the terror plot. Following the assassination of Bhutto, a short letter was sent to bin Laden after two days. “We have taken revenge for our brothers and sisters of Jamia Hafsa and Lal Masjid,” read the letter which was recovered from bin Laden’s home. Bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals in a covert raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011.